TORI J. NORRIS/THE GREENVILLE STANDARD
As we settle down from the hype of the summer Olympics, the young gymnasts in Greenville are gearing up for the start of their competition year.
Greenville Gymnastics competition gymnasts attended the Judges Cup, the first evaluation of the year, Aug. 26-28 in Montgomery.
“We always kick off our season with the Judges Cup,” said Lauren Smith, owner and instructor of Greenville Gymnastics.
“We choose to enter this competition for the evaluation portion which is an interactive session between the gymnasts and the judges. No scores or awards are given through evaluation.”
During evaluation, each gymnast is assigned a judge and their judge makes notes and talks to the girls about how they would have scored them and what areas they need to work on.
“It is an amazing learning experience for both the gymnasts and the coaches,” said Smith.
“Not only do the girls learn a lot technically, they learn that the judges are not people to be intimidated by.”
Girls ages six to 14 compete in various levels. This year the gymnasts from Greenville will be competing in levels two, three and four.
“In most cases, I believe that an early start to any sport gives an advantage,” said Smith.
“The younger we can train their bodies, muscles and minds to think and perform like a gymnast, the better off we all are both as coaches and students.”
Elite and Olympic gymnasts, such as the Final Five we saw win gold in Rio, are made from the levels in which these girls are competing in.
“Competing gives the girls something to focus on and gives them a challenge,” said Smith.
“Not only are they challenged by their competitors, we teach them that their greatest challenge is their own self.”
“I believe gymnastics is one of the most positive sports that a child can be involved in,” said Smith.
“One of the most important lessons is learning how to lose and how to lose well. Gymnastics is hard and gymnasts get one chance to show what they can do. They win some and lose some, but being able to lose with grace is just as important as being able to win with grace.”
Currently, all classes are full at Greenville Gymnastics. However, if you are interested in putting your child on a waiting list please contact them at 334-453-0296 or 334-437-1039. The next competition for the gymnasts is scheduled for Sept. 23-25 in Montgomery at the Festival of Stars.